What is cruelty to animals?
Animal cruelty can take many different forms: It includes overt and intentional acts of violence towards animals, but it also includes animal neglect or the failure to provide for the welfare of an animal under one’s control.
In addition to this, it is important to remember animal cruelty is not restricted to cases involving physical harm. Causing animals psychological harm in the form of distress, torment or terror may also constitute animal cruelty.
Why animals need our protection?
Cruelty to animals occurs in all areas of animal husbandry. In the following, it refers respectively to companion animals.
Pets are at the mercy of humans, as they live under our control. If they are mistreated, they are often unable to protect themselves. For example, pet rabbits can often be kept in small cages with little interaction with humans; in these situations they are unable to exercise properly, perform their natural behaviours or interact with their own species. They are entirely dependent on their owner to both understand and provide for all their needs. If these needs are not met either through neglect or poor understanding of their needs, they can suffer both physically and psychologically experiencing pain, anxiety and fear.
Cruelty to animals can also be a sign of violence towards humans
There is a clear link between cruelty to animals and cruelty to humans. This grim correlation is seen throughout history, in violent crimes and in everyday life. For example, some of the most violent serial killers are known to have tortured animals as children and then later as adults to go on to commit violent crimes against humans. It has also been found that children who are cruel to animals have often witnessed or been victims of abuse themselves. In two separate studies cited by the Humane Society of the United States, roughly one-third of families suffering from domestic abuse indicated that at least one child had hurt or killed a pet.
Prevention of Cruelty to animals
This April FOUR PAWS wants to build awareness for the need to recognise and prevent animal cruelty. We want to:
- Sensitise for this issue, to make cruelty detectable
- Spread knowledge on how to reduce cruelty
- Advise on what one can do to protect animals from cruelty